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Spear Thistle

Cirsium vulgare

Plant Data

Order:
Asterales
Family:
Asteraceae (Daisy)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Solitary purple flower with green-tipped spines, up to 4cm. White flowers are rare.
Fruit:
A flat achene (seed) with a fluffy tuft of white hairs attached at one end (a.k.a. the pappus).
Leaves:
Sharp and prickly, dark green, lobed, pinnate leaves. The leaves are alternate along the stems.
Maximum Size:
150cm tall.
Foraging Notes:
The young flower stems can be cooked. The young leaves can be eaten in a salad after they have been soaked in salt water overnight and the prickles have been removed. The root and flower buds can be cooked and eaten. The seeds are also edible.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Scentless.
Other Names:
Bank Thistle, Bell Thistle, Bird Thistle, Black Thistle, Blue Thistle, Boar Thistle, Bull Thistle, Bur Thistle, Button Thistle, Common Thistle, Donkey Thistle, Fuller's Thistle, Horse Thistle, Plume Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Scottish Thistle.
Habitats:
Cliffs, ditches, farmland, gardens, grassland, heathland, meadows, moorland, mountains, roadsides, sand dunes, scrub, sea cliffs, seaside, wasteland, waterside.